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Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh Ants

Quick Reference Facts

Common Name: Pharaoh Ants
Common Traits: Color: Body usually pale; yellowish to reddish with darker abdomen, Shape: Monomorphic with segmented body, Size: 1/16", Region: All
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Prevention Methods

  • Seal all possible points of entry
  • Keep counters and floors clean and free of crumbs
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regurlarly


Colonies of Pharaoh ants tend to be large, with workers numbering in the thousands. If disturbed, members of the colony will migrate to new locations to establish several new colonies through a process called budding.

Pharaoh ants feed on a variety of food sources including sweets, oils and proteins. They will also eat other dead insects.


Pharaoh ants are commonly found in commercial food handling establishments such as hotels, grocery stores and hospitals. Inside, they nest in warm, humid areas near food and water sources. Nests are usually located in inaccessible areas such as wall voids, behind baseboards, in furniture and under floors. These ants often use electrical and telephone wires as a highway system to travel through walls and between floorboards.

Outside, Pharaoh ants are typically found in shaded areas or under debris. They cannot survive outdoors year-round in the northern regions of the country.


Pharaoh ants have been implicated in the spread of more than a dozen disease pathogens including salmonella and Streptococcus pyogenes. They are notorious for being a major nuisance in hospitals where they can enter wounds, enter IV bottles and can sometimes even seek moisture from the mouths of sleeping patients.

Information provided by the National Pest Management AssociationĀ